Big Tech &
Lyft buys a startup that runs ads on top of ridesharing cars (1 minute read)
Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a startup that pays drivers to run taxi-style ads on top of their vehicles. Halo currently only operates in two cities, so it is likely that Lyft acquired the team for its media division. With Halo, full-time, highly rated drivers are able to earn up to $400 per month for carrying a connected, video-capable ad installation on their cars as they work. Marketers can choose which locations their ads would be displayed. Lyft lost $651.8 million in fiscal 2019, so it is likely they are looking at alternative revenue sources, such as advertising on cars. The move might also benefit drivers, who have long complained about low pay.
TurboTax owner Intuit has plans to buy Credit Karma for $7 billion, report says (1 minute read)
Intuit is looking to acquire personal-finance portal Credit Karma for $7 billion this week. The move, which is expected to be announced early in the week, will be the largest purchase Intuit has made in its 37-year history. Credit Karma will remain functional as a standalone business with the same CEO. The startup serves more than 85 million Americans by offering credit cards and loan referrals. Intuit is currently estimated to be worth $77 billion and owns other personal finance products such as TurboTax and QuickBooks. Other financial technology mergers this year include Morgan Stanley's purchase of E*Trade and Visa's planned purchase of Plaid.
One of the World's Tiniest Nuclear Plants Is Coming to Idaho (2 minute read)
Oklo is planning to build an experimental nuclear reactor in Idaho that will generate power through nuclear waste. It could potentially power about 1,000 homes and run autonomously for 20 years. Nuclear power would be a large step towards reducing the planet's greenhouse gas levels to pre-industrial levels. The small nuclear reactor will be safer, generate power through waste, use a lot less fuel, and produce less toxic waste. Oklo plans to open the reactor between 2022 and 2025.
Italy imposes draconian rules to stop spread of coronavirus (4 minute read)
Italian authorities will start imposing fines on people caught entering or leaving outbreak areas after the third person in the country died of the coronavirus on Sunday. An outbreak in the north of the country has infected 152 people and 11 towns have been in lockdown since Friday night. The roughly 50,000 residents in the towns under lockdown have been told to stay home, and many shops, except chemists, have been closed. Sporting activities and festivities have been canceled. The Milan fashion week will be broadcasted from an empty room.
Programming, Design & Data Science
In depth guide to running Elasticsearch in production (9 minute read)
Elasticsearch can be awesome, fast, and easy to use, but it can also be opaque, confusing, and seem to break randomly for no reason. It is a management framework for running distributed installations of Apache Lucene. Nodes are instances of ES, Indices are a high-level extraction of your data, and Shards are instances of Apache Lucene. In order to set it up properly, it's important to have the right amount of RAM, enough CPUs to do logging, and configure your data disks to fit your specific needs.
Cyber Security Resources (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains thousands of cybersecurity-related references and resources. There are over 7,000 references, scripts, tools, code, and other resources. Topics include hacking environments, offensive security techniques, vulnerability research, exploit development, and more.
Coronavirus Australia: Fears virus will spread across country (11 minute read)
Coronavirus has traveled across the world, with new cases of the virus being found in non-travelers. The World Health Organization recently warned that the window of opportunity to contain the disease was narrowing, but many experts fear that it has now started to become a pandemic. While the coronavirus is less deadly than SARS, it is significantly more contagious, with most of the symptoms of the virus only showing up two weeks post-infection. This leaves plenty of time for the virus to spread before the patient is quarantined. Children also seem to be immune to the effects of the virus, so it is unknown if they are carriers. Most cases of the virus probably remain undetected, so every country needs to be prepared to deal with an outbreak. Slowing the virus' spread might prolong an epidemic, but it will cause less damage overall. For now, it is best to start slowly preparing for the case of quarantines, as strong measures may be implemented to combat the virus.
Enjoy The Extra Day Off! More Bosses Give 4-Day Workweek A Try (4 minute read)
More and more companies around the world are seeing benefits when implementing a four-day workweek, including higher sales, efficiency, employee satisfaction, and profits. Instead of moving to 10-hour shifts, four days a week, many employers are going straight to a 32-hour workweek without cutting pay. Most employees are not productive for all the hours they are working, and cutting work hours meant that employees had to cut out distractions and wasted time to meet targets. American companies tend to prioritize profits over worker benefits. It may be difficult to change the culture even with evidence showing the benefits of change.